12 low-cost ways to give your home a modern look

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Study & office Pixers Minimalist study/office
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Modern interior design is definitely one of the easiest looks to pull off on a small budget. This is because the modern aesthetic is built on a strong minimalist foundation. So to start, all you really need to do is strip away the decorative, ornate or just plain unnecessary elements that clutter up many a home. Yep, it's that easy!

The tricky part comes when you want to make your chosen space more than just an empty room. Because, of course, there is a difference between an empty room and a finished room with a minimalist decor. So, to get you started, today we present some of the cheapest little things you can do to implement a home makeover on a minimalist budget.

1. Embrace empty space

Clanricarde Gardens Ardesia Design Modern living room
Ardesia Design

Clanricarde Gardens

Ardesia Design

This living room looks fresh, light and modern. The key element approach here is a willingness to embrace empty space. So declutter, simplify and give your design room to breathe…

2. Try some geometric prints

There are lots of different directions to go with a modern interior, one that's particularly popular at the moment is brightly coloured geometric prints. If you love this look, simply print out your favourite designs and hang them on the wall. The smallest and simplest design will look fabulous against white, white walls.

3. Rearrange your books in colour groups

Geometric Pixers Modern living room Multicolored



There is a surprising amount that can be done to most interiors without spending a cent. One good approach is to arrange the books and other elements in colour groupings.

4. Get experimental with colour and lines

Rainbow Pixers Minimalist study/office



Modern interiors are forward looking and one of the cheapest ways to experiment is by using paint. Paint doesn't necessarily need to be flat or run from wall to wall. Get creative by mixing up a few hues, finishing the paint halfway up the wall or even letting it run in long dribbles down the wall. 

5. Retro sixties decal

Underground Map Pixers Modern kitchen

Underground Map


Decals and wall stickers are an easy cheap way to completely change your decor. Embrace the look by exploring some bold modern retro designs add some verve and nostalgia to the home.

6. Replace the old cupboard doors with minimalist handleless doors

It's super easy to make your old kitchen look new again by just replacing the cupboard doors. Minimalist, handleless cupboard doors are an excellent choice.

7. Get rid of ornate light shades and install modern minimalist lights

Old light fittings can have a subtle, yet powerful effect on the look and feel of the home. Strip them out and replace them with modern LED lights for a bright modern look. This requires an initial investment, but it's definitely easier on your bank account in the long term.

8. Upgrade those old walls with a faux modern wall tile

Caledonia Wall & Floor Tiles The London Tile Co. Walls & flooringTiles
The London Tile Co.

Caledonia Wall & Floor Tiles

The London Tile Co.

Tiling can be expensive and messy, but with some faux tiles, you can create a fresh and modern look without the fuss. So consider some adhesive tiles in a modern design.

9. Replace the light switches

Crystal Glass 1 Gang Rocker Light Switch White with Chrome Trim Retrotouch Limited BedroomLighting Glass White
Retrotouch Limited

Crystal Glass 1 Gang Rocker Light Switch White with Chrome Trim

Retrotouch Limited

Light switches can look awfully grubby and old with time. They are also really cheap and easy to replace. Simple and oversized large light switches are a good choice.

10. Print and frame contemporary art

Nothing quite exudes a modern look like an experimental or contemporary piece of wall art. So print out your favourite design and slip it in a super simple picture frame with a fine trim.

11. Paint a few old pieces with bright lacquered paint

This dining room would definitely have looked a little old fashioned without the fabulous red lacquered chairs. All you need it some heavy gloss paint.

12. Neutral

A neutral colour scheme is generally an excellent way to make your home look fresh and modern. Consider a contemporary black and white combination for an ultra high-end look.

For more home ideas, have a look at A chic retro home renovated for only S$75k.

Which of these tips did you find most useful?

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